It’s time for the list. We’ll begin the inaugural Five Tool 55 with the class of 2022 in Texas and players No. 55-36. If you missed our primer to explain the process and address some frequently asked questions, click HEREAlso, following the release of the entire list, ending with Nos. 5-1 on Sunday night, we’ll also release a list of players who just missed the cut and also a follow list of players who stood out and will be closely monitored by college programs this spring. Cutting the list of players to 55 wasn’t as easy as I hoped and that meant plenty of good players being left off the list. Let’s get started:

 

No. 36 – Pierce George – RHP – Lake Travis

Steve Sarkisian might ask this young man to line up on the edge defensively or take some snaps at tight end. George is a massive, physical, imposing presence on the mounder after growing a ton and adding a lot of mass and muscle the last year. Listed at 6-5, 200 pounds, George looked more like 6-6, 250 pounds. Predictably, the big right-hander can ramp his fastball up into the mid 90’s when he has control of the delivery and can repeat the arm action with angle. 

 

When I saw him this summer, his velocity was all over the place as he changed intent and tried to find control and rhythm. His slider profiles to be a hard breaking ball in the future, and flashed once or twice. The big question for George this high school season will be can he repeat his delivery and find enough control with his larger frame to provide a starter’s outlook. Personally, I think he’s going to end up in the backend of the Texas Longhorns bullpen at some point throwing upper 90’s gas with a swing and miss slider. And those players are very valuable. 

No. 37 – Chase Mora – SS/RHP – Tomball

Texas State landed a future impact player with legitimate two-way ability because Mora shows a quick, loose arm on the mound with a simple, athletic delivery and low 90’s heat with some carry and angle; the infield athleticism really shows when he’s on the mound firing heat. That said, Mora presently only has enough gas in the tank more of a relief outlook, but Texas State won’t mind because he could end up being a standout shortstop for the Bobcats. 

 

Regarded as a player with good makeup and a track record of leadership, Mora is a fine bet to get the most out of his talent in college because of his approach to the game on and off the diamond. 

No. 38 – Max Grubbs – RHP – Arlington Martin

A recent pledge to the University of Texas, Grubbs is a promising pitching prospect with projection who has shown two distinct breaking balls, feel for a changeup and a fastball up to 89 MPH. He’s not that different from Luke Jackson and is another good candidate to attend college and take off as he fills out, adds velocity, and takes expected steps forward in his development. 

No. 39 – Ryan Williams – C – Bridgeland

Looks at Williams this summer showed a light bat, but also a frame that should get considerably stronger, especially through the upper half. He’s not known for his bat, though. It’s not easy to evaluate catchers and the summer definitely doesn’t make it any easier. However, Williams showed true catch-and-throw skill, receiving ability and looked like he’s as good or better than anyone in the state defensively. There’s a lot of value in that, which is a main reason why Mississippi State locked up his commitment early.

No. 40 – Ryan Hanks – RHP – Klein Cain

An uncommitted right-handed pitcher who was a member of the Rangers Area Code team, Hanks threw well this summer, including at the AABC Mattingly World Series. Featuring a fastball that played up 86-90 MPH and an overhand curve with spin and shape, Hanks was able to pitch fairly deep into starts. I didn’t see many signs of a third pitch, but with physicality present and some signs of control, Hanks doesn’t lack intrigue and should be added to a commitment list soon. 

No. 41 – Rocco Garza-Gongora – OF – Laredo Alexander

Another Rangers Area Code team member, Garza-Gongora can do a bit of everything on the diamond. With a simple approach from the left-handed side, the Oklahoma commitment shows a good swing that’s built more for contact than impact currently; perhaps that changes as he matures and adds strength, but the bat is probably going to be contact and gap-to-gap than over the fence. 

 

Regardless, he gets the most out of his talent, is a strong defender, and plays with quality instincts. Can he run enough to play center field in college? We’ll see, but his instincts could allow him to play quicker than the stopwatch. Given the way he handles the game mentally, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Garza-Gongora turns some heads and competes for at-bats immediately. 

No. 42 – Murphy Brooks – RHP – Bridgeland

A TCU commitment, Brooks made major strides from 2020 to 2021. Physical with a mature body, Brooks has shown a four-pitch mix – fastball, curve, slider, change – but probably profiles best using the slider instead of the curve. He’s known for his competitiveness on the mound, unafraid to challenge hitters and his velocity has ticked up. 

No. 43 – Rylan Galvan – C – Sinton

Galvan’s strength stands out behind the dish and in the batter’s box. He unleashes a big arm behind home plate and hunts fastballs with the intent to do damage with the bat in his hands. Is he going to be a catcher in the future? Texas likely gives him a chance to prove he can do it at the next level, but it’s possible the bat simply plays somewhere else on the diamond. 

No. 44 – Collin McKinney – RHP – Clear Creek


Couldn’t prevent some visions of Brandon Workman when I watch McKinney, a physical presence on the mound with some arm quickness through his finish and feel for spin. He should get every chance to start at Texas State like Workman did at Texas before moving to the bullpen as a pro. 

No. 45 – Rene Galvan – OF – Sinton

Yes, Rene and Rylan are brothers and it’s entirely possible they should be flip-flopped in the order. Rene isn’t as famous as his brother, long established as one of the top players in the state, but he might have more upside. The quarterback for Sinton, Galvan shows his athleticism in the box and around the diamond with an intriguing left-handed swing and the talent flashes to suggest there’s louder production coming. 

No. 46 – Sean Fitzpatrick – LHP – Concordia Lutheran

A commitment to Arkansas, Fitzpatrick has a track record of performance and strikes. The skinny southpaw works very, very quickly with an unorthodox delivery that can speed up his arm too much occasionally but can also present a tough angle for left-handers because of his low three-quarters and borderline sidearm arm angle. 

 

When his hand placement, finish and release are right, the arm angle helps create some sink to the heater and spin; when they’re not, the fastball can play down and he can get under the breaker. Given the way he can hide the baseball and the way the arm works, continuing development of a backfoot slider against righties and a changeup to play off his heater would give Fitzpatrick weekend rotation potential during some point of his college career at Arkansas. 

No. 47 – Chase Sowell – OF – Atascocita 

A multi-sport, very projectable, loose athlete, Sowell offers some of the most intriguing projection in the entire 2022 class. And he could be a 2023 prospect because of his age. He’s beginning to understand how to incorporate his length into a more consistent swing and bat speed is beginning to show to accompany athleticism that shows everywhere on the field. 

No. 48 – Zachary Mazoch – C – Georgetown

Baylor snagged Mazoch’s commitment this summer and the left-handed hitting catcher stood out during the AABC Don Mattingly World Series. He had a 1.94 pop time behind home plate with an accurate arm and also showed some hand-eye coordination and bat-to-ball ability from the left side. Does he have a chance to emerge as the best catcher in Texas? Absolutely. 

No. 49 – Adrian Guzman – RHP – Aledo

At first glance, evaluators might pencil in Guzman as a reliever because of the length in the arm action and how much the ball is shown towards the hitter as the arm works back. However, I watched Guzman carry his stuff and velocity (90 MPH in the final inning of a lengthy start) deep into a scorching-hot late July game.

 

With the way the arm works, Guzman’s slider – up to 82 MPH – plays very well off the action and there’s some intriguing feel for a changeup too. The fastball offers some natural cut at times and his athleticism suggests Grayson landed an impact starter and future draft pick. 

No. 50 – Brandon Arvidson – LHP – Dripping Springs

Tall, lanky left-handed starting pitcher with athleticism on the mound (also played first base and outfield) and ability to repeat and carry stuff deep into starts. I watched Arvidson punch out 13 batters across 6.0 scoreless innings in a late July start and his combination of deception, four-pitch mix and angle baffled hitters consistently. 

 

Arvidson’s arm action is a bit unusual in the back, but he had no issues making his stuff work out in front and finishing on top of his pitches to often drive them down in the strike zone with the occasional fastball – 84-87 MPH, T89 MPH – up in the zone. There’s a lot to like with this emerging arm, which is why Texas A&M swooped in and flipped him from Texas State. 

No. 51 – Marshall Lipsey – OF – Spring Hill

I like the left-handed swing, and think it has a chance to really play at TCU with added strength. Lipsey runs and plays defense at a level that could make him an all-around solid college contributor with the possibility for more. Stood out at the AABC Don Mattingly World Series. 

No. 52 – Shane Sdao – LHP – Lake Creek

Another Texas A&M commitment on the list, it’s impossible to discuss Sdao without the two ‘p’ words – projection and potential. A triple-meat from Whataburger might be enough to push him over 150 pounds and there’s barely any weight on his tall, long frame currently. But that’s one of the reasons Texas A&M is so excited to have him in the fold because Sdao has already been up to 91 MPH and will add more with a quick arm. 

 

The changeup is his best secondary offering, and when the lefty throws it with fastball arm speed and conviction, it flashes at a future plus pitch. As for the breaking ball, it’s a definite work in progress, but a slider makes the most sense with the arm finish and he rarely flashed a backfoot one on occasion. 

No. 53 – Jose Vargas – OF – Clear Springs

Arizona State recently received Vargas’ commitment, and if he turns the tools package into consistent production, watch out. Vargas can run, can impact the baseball, and has a plus arm in the outfield. There is some swing and miss present, particularly with fastballs up and spin down because his left-handed swing is geared towards getting extended on pitches middle or down. That said, the ability to get on time and do damage is also present with a body that doesn’t lack projection. 

No. 54 – Preston Freeman – SS – Floresville

Great add by the UTSA staff because Freeman looks like he can play shortstop well in college. He shows good, quick, confident defensive actions on the dirt and his body should fill out considerably over time. From a few looks against solid pitching, Freeman’s left-handed swing showed some signs of barrel feel and plate coverage, but he’s known more for the glove currently. 

No. 55 – Griffin Herring – LHP – Southlake Carroll

Herring makes the long action work and has a good feel for who he is as a pitcher and who he can become in the future. The slider plays well off his arm action and look and if the changeup comes on it really boosts his chances of sticking as an impact starter at the next level. Herring, a LSU commitment, finished No. 4 in Texas 6A high school competition with 117 strikeouts last season and has a long track record of performance.

Check in tomorrow for Nos. 35-16 on our Five Tool 55 for the Texas class of 2022. 

Dustin McComas – Follow me on Twitter
Senior Editor
Five Tool Baseball

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